post written by: Angel Chernoff

4 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward


4 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward

“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”
―Elvis Presley

Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak or wrong in any way.  Sometimes it simply means you’re strong enough and smart enough to let go and move forward with your life.

And that’s precisely what we discuss in today’s video blog…

Video Blog Post:

Give Up to Move Forward (video transcript):

1.  First and foremost, give up the excuses you keep reciting to yourself.

Because all the excuses and explanations in the world won’t do you any good.  They won’t add any value to your life or improve the quality of it by even the slightest margin.  To fulfill your calling and get where you wish to go in life requires more than just thinking and talking.  These feats require focused and sustained action.  And the good news is, you’re perfectly capable of taking whatever action is necessary.  You just have to choose to actually do it.

No one else can succeed for you on your behalf.  The life you live is the life you build for yourself.  There are so many possibilities to choose from, and so many opportunities for you to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.  Now is the moment to actually step forward.

Sooner or later, one way or the other, you will come to realize that it’s not what you lose along the way that counts; it’s what you do with what you still have.  When you let go of the past, forgive what needs forgiving, and move forward, you in no way change the past, you change the future.

2.  Once you’re over the excuses, give up the idea that you don’t have what it takes.

You do have exactly what it takes.  Will it be easy?  Absolutely not!  Nobody is going to blindside you and hit you as hard as life will.  Sometimes life will beat you to the ground, and keep you there if you let it.  But it’s not about how hard life can hit you; it’s about how hard you can be hit and continue to move forward.  That’s what true strength is.  And that’s what winning the game of life is all about.  So keep going.

In the end, all the small things make a big difference.  Every step is crucial.  Life isn’t about a single moment of great triumph and attainment.  It’s about the trials and errors that slowly get you there – the blood, the sweat, the tears, and the small, inconsequential things you do on a day-to-day basis.  It all matters in the end – every step, every regret, every decision, and every affliction.

The seemingly useless happenings add up to something.  The minimum wage job you had in high school.  The evenings you spent socializing with coworkers you never see anymore.  The hours you spent writing thoughts on a personal blog that no one reads.  Contemplations about elaborate future plans that never came to be.  All those lonely nights spent reading novels and news columns and comics strips and fashion magazines and questioning your own principles on life and sex and religion and whether or not you’re good enough just the way you are.

All of this has strengthened you.  All of this has led you to every success you’ve ever had.   All of this has made you who you are today.  And all of this proves that you have the strength to deal with the challenges in front of you.  (Read The Road Less Traveled.)

3.  Give up focusing on what’s wrong, and start noticing what’s right.

What you see often depends entirely on what you are looking for.  Do your best and surrender the rest.  When you stay stuck in regret of the life you think you should have had, you end up missing the beauty of what you actual do have.  You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for the good things in your life right now.

And you do not need ideal circumstances to move forward.  The happiest and most successful people do not live with a certain set of circumstances, but rather with a certain set of attitudes.  Choosing to be positive and grateful for what you have now is going to determine how you’re going to live the rest of your life.  So look for something positive about today.  Even if you have to look a little harder than usual, it still exists.

So don’t wait until everything is just right; it will never be perfect.  There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.  So what!  Get started now!  With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger.  Say it out loud:  “I am determined to live a happy life no matter what my challenges are!  I will turn all my tales of fury into tales of glory!  I will turn all of my tales of woe into tales of WOW!”  And no matter what happens, just do your best and appreciate what you’re learning.  You won’t enjoy your life if you don’t enjoy your challenges.

4.  Give up the tendency to get too caught up in other people’s judgments and opinions.

Honestly, the biggest prison you will likely ever live in is your fear of what other people think.  You cannot let other people tell you who you are or what you want.  You have to decide that for yourself.  When you’re making big decisions, remember, what you think of yourself and your life is more important than what people think of you.  Don’t let others make you feel guilty for living YOUR life.  As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, live it YOUR way.

The key here is to remember that it’s OK to listen to others sometimes, but not at the full expense of your own intuition.  Because throughout your lifetime there will be many times when the world gets real quiet and the only thing left is the beat of your own heart.  So you’d better learn the sound of it, otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s telling you.

The bottom line is that when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you truly are.  So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you.  You don’t have to be someone else to impress people.  Let these people be impressed by who you really are.

Honestly, what does life matter if you lose yourself along the way?  Even your mentors should teach you HOW to think, not WHAT to think.  So if someone – anyone – is belittling your truth, it might be time to turn the other way.  (Marc and I discuss this in detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

Your turn…

If you feel like you’re stuck, or struggling to make progress, know that you are not alone.  We are all in this together.  However, there is also a good chance you’re holding on to something that’s holding you back.  Which means you might be able to make things easier on yourself if you give this “something” up.

In fact, whenever Marc and I find ourselves running in place, we make it a point to evaluate our present situation, and then we ask ourselves questions like, “What’s holding us back?” and “Is there something we need to let go of, or give up, before we can move forward again?”

Today we challenge you to do the same.  Please leave a comment below and let us know:  What are you holding on to right now that’s holding you back?

Photo by: eliot

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61 Comments

  • I was encouraged by what you posted here. Through years of experience I have learned that what you said here is absolutely true.

    I lost my job 3 years years ago and have and have two little girls – 3 and 5 – to care for (and I’m a single dad). The humiliation and ridicule I had to go through from an unsupportive family is something I can’t describe in words. When I started reading your words last year I can honestly say it was the push I needed to make changes. I gave up listening to the naysayers. I realized I do have what it takes. And now I’m happy to say things are working out pretty well for me. Thank you.

  • I have been holding on to a toxic relationship that has been holding me back for well over a year now. Your newsletters and your book have been helping me give this relationship up so I can reclaim my sanity and contentment.

    Also, I heard an inspiring spin yesterday on the Serenity Prayer… “Have the courage to change the things you must…” - resonates with me because while some changes are easy, the life-affirming, must-have changes really do take courage. Like saying “enough” to a friend or family member who keeps hurting you over and over again.

  • Thank you for putting into words what I have felt so strongly about for so long, but have not had the words to express or the courage to act upon. I have a lot of drive, but still struggle with moving on in my career – of giving up something comfortable so I can make a leap forward. I have stalled out of fear and self-doubt.

    But this helps. I’m making changes starting now. Giving up the good for the great.

  • Yes, these four habits of our mind can definitely hold us back.

    Here’s what holds me back sometimes: Doing the same thing! Getting caught in the same old rut. As some great mind said, doing the same thing that doesn’t work is insanity.

    What I’m enjoying at the moment is experimenting. So I am letting go of doing the same thing! And, I’m learning from my experiments.

  • You two make a beautiful couple!

  • WOW, so true!!!

  • I am so encouraged by this article, it has just spoken to me in a big way. The past is really holding onto my subconscious. Time to work on giving it up. Thank you so much.

  • Excellent article guys. I watch this video blog with my two teenagers this morning. Practical advice! I wish Marc and Angel Hack Life was around when I was young like them! I tell them to learn this. Live this…

  • You guys are amazing, inspirational and very kind to share your wisdom, thoughts & experience with us all. You have had a huge impact on me and many I’m sure.

  • Thank you for the great article.
    The thing holding me back is that I’m not able to take a stand for myself. I have fear of consequences.

  • Fear of not being good enough is holding me back. Also fear of trying to move ahead. It seems that life keeps knocking me down and I’m growing weary of trying to pull it together and get back up. Your words are inspiring and help on the days that I need it the most.

  • This morning I was praying to be released from my own self-made “cage” emotionally and mentally. Great timing for this post in my life! Thank you.

  • This post is incredibly encouraging. Thank you.

    I’ve been feeling so stuck for so long, feeling more and more like a failure at life, feeling tired of surviving and not thriving. I have more blessings than I can count, and I try to focus on those, but the world keeps demanding more than I think I can handle.

    In my heart, I know what’s important. I need to keep my focus on that and not allow those naysayers and negative voices any more air time!

  • Amazing post, thank you for sharing. We must give up everything that stops us from being US.

  • GREAT post! Worth reading or watching over and over. I know what I need to do, but haven’t yet given up the excuses, so thank you!

  • A great post (once again) all around, but the point that resonates with me is the comment about other people’s perception or opinions of your life creating ambiguity of who you really are.
    I realized, only recently, that I may be having trouble moving forward with my goals because I don’t really know WHO I am.

    I do know that I am the diplomatic type but that I have geared my life and decisions too much by other peoples views, opinions or fear of their reactions/unhappiness and now I am seeing the detriment of that behavior.

    I now realize that in order to move forward I need to figure out a plan which consists of steps to take to get there. But, before I can do that I need to figure out where I want to go which can only come with understanding and acceptance of who I really am. I have taken a screen grab of that statement and it will be put into my “inspirations” page.

    Thank you again for doing what you do!

  • In number 1 you said when you let go of the past you change the future. That’s such powerful knowledge, especially for people who have struggled with loss and heartache. Having lost a child, I learned that I could look at it two ways, either I could be sad for the rest of my life, or I could honor my child by healing. I chose to heal.

  • Great post! First time I really paid attention to the whole video. I was trying to come up with my “things” to give up in order to move forward.

    1. Comfort. I am very comfortable in my career. I am in very sweet spot in a solid company, great pay, bonuses and we are growing quarter on quarter. So if I give this up to pursue my dreams, its a big financial risk. SO I have to give up the Comfort of the present situation.

    2. Expertise. I have a lot of experience, and I am a “go-to” person on some parts of our work. To pursue my dreams, I have a lot to learn. I love learning so its not a fear, but its a challenge (time, money and effort).

    3. Routine. If I change my work, it disrupts the routine for my whole family. I have an easy commute and I control my travel. That will all change.

    4. Reality Shift. This is the point when you go from “A-ha!!” to “Oh Shit!” when you make a major change in your life. Its the learning curve, facing your fears, handling the challenges, and recovering from the wounds. Even when you know they are coming, you are never truly prepared.

  • Let go of the excuses to make magic happen. Thanks Angel!

  • Thank you , thank you, thank you, for all your kind and inspiring words. I am the only one holding myself back. Fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of what I am really truely capable of doing. Fall seven times, stand up eight.

  • Three years ago on June 12th our only child died. A lot of friends dropped us and didn’t give any support. I guess they didn’t know how to deal with our situation and what to say…whatever. What’s really holding us down more than anything now is the hurt we feel from our supposed friends especially with Sean’s anniversary coming up. So do we just let those friendships go completely?

  • The trick for me is remembering to be happy and grateful for what I have, and acknowledging what is right in my world. I find I get dragged down by people in my life who only talk about their problems. I start to get caught up in their negativity and wonder if maybe I am just wearing blinders in regards to what is negative in my life and then go looking for it!

  • I love reading your articles every morning. I have been dealing with fear for 26 years now. I feel so stuck in my life and feel like I am living for others. Your words encourage me to want to do better. I want my life to be more at peace by taking the first step.

  • Good morning Marc and Angel. I just read your email you sent me. I really love reading the content of your articles about life the negative things I must give up. To be honest with you at present for almost 7 months now I’m surrounded with negative situations. These situations make me want to give up sometimes to get rid of the pain. I really want to give up my past and the old thoughts that keep holding me back. But I don’t know how, every time I recall what happened my thoughts always turn negative and then there is anger the pain in my heart. Please help me to enlightened my life even more and vanish these feelings.

    Again thank you for your time reading my message. And hope to hear from you soon with more positive words. Take care god bless you. -JAMELA

  • Thank you so much. Your words continue to inspire me. The power of positive thinking can really make all the difference. I know your words are improving some many others lives besides my own. Keep it up. :)

  • Thank you for this great article. I will read it often to help me to drop the negative thinking and take ownership for my life!

    Ideas that have been holding me back:

    I can’t be truly happy, joyful and content if I am single.

    I don’t have what it takes to be successful in my career.

    I can’t take care of myself.

    I have already wasted too much time NOT doing something, so it is too late to start now.

    TIME TO LET GO! Thanks again!

  • The biggest take-away from your post, Angel, is this quote.

    “But it’s not about how hard life can hit you; it’s about how hard you can be hit and continue to move forward. That’s what true strength is.”

  • What’s holding me back? Memories and too much thinking of my “old” life that was filled with activity and people I loved. The people are now gone or not available, and activities no longer seem interesting. So, I’m simplifying my living situation, and starting over again at 67. I am going to try and appreciate the new people and activities in my life although they are not what I initially wanted.

  • A friend forwarded this article to me and I’m so grateful! I recently was (wrongly) fired from a job, and at age 60 it has been a hard pill to swallow as my options feel so limited. My unemployment was denied, so yesterday, eight weeks later, I attended my appeal hearing. I felt insignificant and demoralized, and quite frankly frightened at what the outcome may be because we are so broke right now. What buoys me up is that I do count my blessings daily because there is joy in the few things (husband, pets, friends) that I still have.
    What’s holding me back though is my fear of losing my case. I’m wasting so much time staying stuck in “what if” that I can’t move forward.

    Thanks so much for writing this and for sharing.

    Brightest blessings,

    Laurel

  • I want to tell you very honestly - when I first started following your blog I did not expect much, to me it sounded like small inspiring thoughts were just gathered from everywhere and listed as “10 things to ..” or “21 things to ..” and so on.

    You totally proved me wrong! This is the third post I am reading and I have found it very useful like the previous two. But most importantly when you mentioned about -’being happy “now” and not beating yourself up for the past or waiting for things to be perfect’ let me tell you -it was life changing. I have been going through many famous time tested self help books since about more than a year now. I know this fact and I tried many methods to really follow it. I was still struggling. But weird as it sounds this blog just worked. I felt it at a deeper level-the switch- that I really have to enjoy my present because it is already awesome. Like magic!

    I am writing this only to let you guys know that you need to keep up with your good work. It’s because you are working with a beautiful heart that you are able to directly communicate to the deeper level of the readers here. Thank you.

    Forever grateful,
    Sumi

  • Jacqueline Martens
    June 5th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I thought I lost everything in 2009 when I lost my job, my best friend of over 40 years and the love of my life to an old girlfriend who was younger and had a job, all in the period of 8 months. My life was OVER. After being alone for 5 years, “who” I am is being revealed and the struggles are like butterflies emerging from the cocoon… They have to do it on their own if they are to fly…helping them disables them. Blessings to you Amanda, and especially Heather, for being brave enough to comment. I’m 70, a polio survivor, but still upright and smiling. Every one of us has worth and the people you touch with your writings will forever be blessed with your words. Thank you.

  • All of this is very inspiring but what about when it comes to sickness? When things that are out of your control happen and you have no choice but to listen to doctors and do what they say even though everything in you says “this isn’t for you”? When do you listen to your own intuition instead of someone of authority like a doctor?

  • Me and my sister often talk about our parents who are no longer with us. We both loved them a lot but they were from a generation that never really showed their feelings,ca case of the typical English stiff upper lip. And I carried that on myself as I became just like my parents, and kept emotions in check as best as I could most of the time.

    But now I find as I’ve got older I can and will open up more and don’t use the excuse that I’m like my parents, because their generation has gone but mine is more tactile and unafraid to show their feelings. So to move forward in my life I gave up blaming my parents for me being a cold fish and even though I’m no cuddly teddy bear, I am prone to give my son a nice manly hug from time to time and tell him that I love him… and he’s thirty!

  • Rebecca Antholz
    June 5th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I raised three sons by myself. I made their world my world. They are all gone now, successfully living their lives. I have recently realized that I have been holding on to them. I seemed to have lost myself by making them the center of my life. Now, I am experiencing loneliness and doubts about where to go from here and how to do it. I know I need to move on and live MY life. I am taking small steps. I’m working on making a life for me. I am scared, but also anticipating a life where I can do whatever I want. Thank you for helping all of us “find our way.”

  • Number 4 personally has been my challenge (the tendency to get too caught up in other people’s judgments and opinions, the biggest prison you will likely ever live in is your fear of what other people think).

    In my case it is the fear of what *I think* other people think about me! They haven’t said or indicated anything to me about what they are thinking. “I think XX way about me, so therefore so must everyone else - even those who know nothing about me.”

    As I continue to move forward toward greater self-acceptance, I am certain this defeating cycle will dissipate. Thanks for a great forum!

  • I have been holding on to two things actually. First of them was an imaginary image of how my life should be, like how much more money we are suppose to have and what car i should be driving. In other words i was trying so hard to fit in society. Second thing was my first degree year in Sudan and how much i regret leaving the college and heading to Malaysia. And that is because i had an amazing batch that truly missed here. This was holding me back the most. Today i received my results from college and have failed two subjects. I was humiliated so bad by the head of my faculty. I’m not going to lie i cried. I came back home very desperate and depressed. I hated my life and what I’ve done with it so far. Luckily i came across your post and it really turned tables for me. Thank you.

  • Insightful and powerful to identify that which is “holding me back” and my issue now would hover around my focus. Spelling out my goals and obtaining resolve to achieve them regardless of obstacles. Blocking the time suckers that rob me of the energy to pour into it.

    Thanks for your, “encouraging words.”

  • @KTL, I’ve been there. So do your own research and bring your thoughts to your doctor. The dr. should be willing to listen AND you have to hear what they say. It’s hard. It’s just hard.
    Here’s what I learned. The sun comes up tomorrow with me or without me. So I got up everyday. Sometimes, I laid down on the couch, but I got up.

    Don’t waste a tear. Tears will come so learn every single lesson you can squeeze from them so you don’t have to cry again.

    Do something for someone else, even if that is only holding the elevator for another sick person. Look them in their eyes and see them.

    When you can’t do anything but pray, pray. Pray for everyone you see while sickness keeps you from doing. Being is worth doing well.

    If you don’t take the time to get well, you will have to take the time to be sick.

  • I found so much value and identified with the comments above in so many aspects. Life does come at you sometimes with so much force that even someone like me who was always positive begins to wonder if the glass is really half full.

    My older daughter who had previously been a healthy child and go getter suddenly was stricken with leukemia which she did not survive despite my belief to the contrary because I knew my God would not abandon me in my time of need and would hear my cry. I actually, throughout the ordeal stayed absolutely positive and told her not to think of death or a negative outcome. But she was “realistic” she told me. Since she passed I have relived all the moments of parenthood which were not ideal; I should have done this instead of that. Obviously an ugly video playing itself in my head. I had no control over this. I could have been a better parent? I know better and read inspirational words.

    I empathize with everyone who is going through something and hope that as we live in the now we have strength for the moments. Namaste.

  • Thanks guys. Great reminders, and well said! I agree that we’re all in this together, being present and living authentically. Love sees the way…

  • I like thinking of your voice as a kind benevolent parent (that I lack somewhat) giving me advice. Which means they really want me to succeed . Thanks you.

  • Nice Post.
    I completely agree on the effect of excuses on success. and for lot of people, procrastination is the biggest obstacle.

    Check here for complete guide to breaking procrastination habit: gameligit.com/success-cycle-end-of-procrastination/

  • After reading the 4 things to give up and move forward, I think the thing holding me down is the woman in my life. She has never been supportive. There is nothing i do that pleases her. I am holding up to her because i want her to be my wife since she already has a 5 years old boy for me. But she is so much concerned about her career. I think i should let her go and see what happens. I am going to work on what i just read and will see what happens. I pray GOD be with me. Please advise me.

  • Hi, my friend shared this article with me today and after reading, it inspired me a lot. I’ll be saying these words everyday “I am determined to live a happy life no matter what my challenges are!” Really great and very motivating. I’ll be sharing your post with my colleagues. Thanks.

  • Thank you so much for this another insightful post of yours. Once again it’s thought provoking and makes me reflect on life. I can relate on the things that you mentioned.

    Excuses. That’s one thing that holds me back. I have learned that it will not get me anywhere. If I really want to achieve a certain goal. I should be willing to commit and put my time and effort. Whenever there are challenges and struggles. That’s the time I feel like giving up and not to keep going. But I really have to keep going. I gotta learn to be tough when times get tough.

    And also what holds me back is holding on to the past. Which includes bad choices, mistakes and failures. But I am learning not to be so hard on myself. Those are from the past. I’m not there anymore but those experiences taught me lessons. Lessons that I learned the hard way and made me stronger and look at life in a different perspective.

  • The scariest thing that holds me back from moving on is the feeling of regret, especially when you know you shouldn’t have done what you’ve done!

  • Fear of failure and procrastination is what’s holding me back…and today I’m letting it GO!!!!

  • I turn 23 in 4 days and have been chronically depressed for 5 years. I got bullied a lot and grew up in an abusive home so i became isolated and ended up self loathing.

    It’s been holding me back for so long and has cost me so much that i’m ready to move on with my life. I haven’t been able to get a girlfriend and fall in love because i felt unlovable and undesirable by girls.

    I’ve been meditating a lot and have found myself crying like a little baby (i did that earlier for about 45 mins) it was so horrible that i ended up smashing my fists on the table and may have broken my hands. It’s really, really tough but it must be done.

  • The message here is what all people need in their lives.

    Reading this blog for over a year now, I have learnt and practiced to follow my heart and not care to be what other people expect. This has made my life great and taken away all the self-doubt.

    What is currently holding me back as a starting software developer is not acting at first impulse, having to work could be an issue but I know i could still do something

    Again you guys have given me soul food and I’m most greatful

  • Thank u for this article. I am working on giving up on a person that I cherish a lot… seems so tough to let go because we have been such good friends. (we are not even talking about BGR!….sigh)… Dont really know what I have done but perhaps it is time to let go and move on. Sad that such a great friendship will have to come to such an end. Guess I need to remember constantly :

    Giving up doesn’t always mean I am weak or wrong in any way. Sometimes it simply means I am strong enough and smart enough to let go and move forward with my life.

  • @Kev: What you’re capable of is not a function of what others think is possible for you. Way to take charge! We’re so happy to hear you’re in a better place.

    @Mary Lee: I like the twist. When you realize you MUST make a change you start taking action.

    @Sandra Pawula: Your comment reminds me of this great quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”

    @Tracey: Every morning when you wake up, think of three things that are going well in YOUR life at the moment. As you fall asleep every night, fill your mind with an appreciation for all the small things that went well during the day. Examine the goodness that is YOUR life, and let your inner critic overhear the five-star reviews about YOU. :)

    @Lindy Allen: My heart goes out to you. As far as your relationships go, you and your husband should focus on each other. Continue to treat yourselves and others compassionately and deal with the reality of your situation. If others can’t accept you for doing so there is nothing you can do to control them. Remember, what other people do is because of them and not because of you. As hard as it might be don’t take their actions personally.

    @LynP: Stop surrounding yourself with those people! I know it’s not always easy, but it will be worth it to you in the end.

    @Jamela: Thank you for the kind words. I think you’ll enjoy this article: 5 Things You Should Know About Letting Go.

    @Heather: Things can change if you want them to, at any age. It’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy. Even when times are tough, think of all the beauty still around you, and smile. Life is too short to have a victim mentality. Say to yourself, “I am not going to be bitter, I am going to be better.” Welcome to the next chapter.

    @Sumi: Thank you for giving us a chance. I am so happy to hear you can resonate with our words and that we’re making a difference. And thank you for taking the time to show your appreciation.

    @Jacqueline Martens: Beautiful, thank you for sharing your story.

    @KTL: To an extent, we do need to listen to experts our about health. If your not comfortable with the diagnosis, seek out a second opinion and even a third if needed.

    @All: As always, thanks for keeping the conversation going.

  • Uplifting!

  • Definitely the one thing holding me back is fear! To be happy and content, I need to make a decision which will totally change my life. Keeping the fear alive is only keeping me stuck in a very negative situation.

    Thanks for all you write as I must stop and think about what needs changing in my life for happiness to be released! But, I am always thankful for the blessings in my life.

  • Good reads. For me I must give up those shallow best (fake) friends, whom has used me for twenty-ish years then toss me aside when fate challenges me.

  • Thank you for this post, I needed it. I’m in bed thinking about comments a friend made regarding me not having children. I’m 25, in grad school, and still living at home with my mother. I’m not nearly ready to have children. Nonetheless, I allowed for these comments made by my friend, who is also 25 and now pregnant with her first child, get to me. I will not let anyone make me feel guilty for living MY life! As you all stated in number 4. I won’t be made to feel I have to defend myself either. I find that I’m now defending myself against when are you having a baby? Or when are you getting married? Or where is your boyfriend? Questions each time I’m around my family and friends, quite frankly, I am sick of it! I’m a young woman and I now realize I have years ahead of me and children and marriage can wait.

    For a long time I felt anxious and sad about being 25 single and childless, but those feelings stop now. I cannot allow others opinions to dictate my feelings as I have and I thank you, Marc & Angel, for helping me come to this realization.

  • Number 4 (Give up the tendency to get too caught up in other people’s judgments and opinions) - this really resonated with me. I try not to worry too much about what other people think of me, but sometimes it’s hard. If you choose an unconventional path in life, people can and do judge you and it can be hurtful. I’m 33 and I’m single and don’t have children - this is my own choice and I’m happy with it and yet I feel constantly judged for it. I also went to university in my late twenties and am now a postgraduate student, which also seems to something on which people think they can pass judgement. It’s easy to say ‘I don’t care what people think, it’s my life’ but sometimes it is difficult and when most of your friends are married with children, it’s easy to feel isolated. It’s a tricky situation - do you be something you’re not in order to fit in, or do you be true to yourself and feel like an outcast?

  • “All of this has strengthened you. All of this has led you to every success you’ve ever had. All of this has made you who you are today.”

    Whenever someone asks me what I’d change in life, this is what goes through my head. There are many “bad” things I’ve gone through, but each one of them has lead me where I am today. And no matter what, I wouldn’t want to be anyone or anywhere else.

  • Thank you Marc and Angel for your awesome post. I’m also really enjoying reading the other comments also. Thanks everybody for open your heart and leave a comment here. It makes me know that I’m not alone struggling to find my way in life. Some of you have hard challenges too, but you all made it.

  • @Lindy Allen: I am so sorry about your loss. I hope that you have found closure to your friend situation.

    I had a similar situation. My best friend was so inconsiderate when my mother had suddenly died and wasn’t there for me. Strangers and other friends were there more than my own best friend. Soon after her passing, she invited me out and I thought we were going to have girl time and talk about what happened, bond, cry and find comfort, only to realize she had texted other people to hang out. She needed company to watch a movie, of all things: death :( People she didn’t really like also showed up. So disappointing.

    It really hurt me so much to see her hanging out with other friends on facebook, yet she never fully reached out to me. I called her out on it, and there was tension for a while. Months later when her grandmother died, she reached out to me and went on to explain vivid details of her body in the casket. It was so horrible, and the conversation really set me back emotionally for weeks. I finally realized that if my best friend couldn’t be there for me in the tough times then she wasn’t really a friend. I finally came to realize that friends are there even when it’s uncomfortable and not convenient. If you can’t count on those to be there for you when times get tough, then it’s not worth it. Friends are supposed to be there in the good times and the tough times, otherwise they are simply acquaintances. You must confront this and decide if it’s worth it, otherwise you will continue to carry the pain associated with your child’s death. Something so important and so profound should never be associated with the betrayal of “friends.” I hope that you remember your child’s life and death for what it was independently of these selfish people. Get rid of what’s holding you back and you will be able to move forward.

    I hope this was helpful :)

  • This is something that I have been working on all year. I dumped my toxic relationship even though, I had two beautiful babies. The hardest part is being away from them. I am glad that they have a good dad that loves them, but I wanted them to grow up knowing how people in love really acted. That definitely wasn’t us.
    I have been focusing on taking care of myself by eating right and exercising almost daily. I have motivated so many people with my progress and that makes me feel awesome, but you ask the question what is holding me back. At first I did not know the answer, but now I am pretty sure that I have figured it out. I let others tell me I wasn’t good enough and I have believed it for so many years that it became “me”.

    I am in a new very healthy relationship and here is me over analyzing everything and thinking something is wrong when really there is nothing wrong at all. The other day I came to terms with myself. I can’t make people happy. I just can make myself happy. My problem is I may try to hard to make things work. I realized if it is not going to work out I have no control over how someone else feels about me. Thank you for this article. It really switched on a light switch. I can do anything I put my mind too.

  • I found myself nodding my noggin all the way through.

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